Wait, you can get strangers to pay for your divorce? In the modern world, you can get strangers to pay for just about anything. So yes, that also means you can crowdfund your divorce.
People typically think of divorce as an expensive endeavor. You have to pay for lawyers, court costs, filing fees, and more. Trying to crowdfund your divorce may seem strange initially, but it’s not really that far-fetched.
With the likes of Kickstarter, Patreon, GoFundMe, and the many other crowdsourcing outlets popping up on a regular basis, you can look to the public to finance just about anything. Need medical bills covered? Are you looking for someone to support your art? Do you want funds to finally quit your job and start your own business? Want to raise money to bolster your favorite non-profit? Those are just a few things you can finance this way.
Perhaps it was inevitable, but taking to the internet to crowdfund your divorce has taken off.
How To Crowdfund Your Divorce
Not all crowdfunding outlets allow for divorce, so before you begin, it’s important to examine the rules. Websites like Funded Justice, where you can raise money for legal fees, have options for divorce and family law matters. Others, like GoFundMe and Indiegogo, while not specifically intended for divorce, do permit you to use their services for that purpose.
A couple years ago, Josh and Sara Margulis, a California couple launched Honeyfund. It allowed newly married couples a platform to crowdfund dream honeymoons. From there, they created the offshoot Plumfund. Through this service, you can finance “life events,” like baby showers, birthday parties, or support various causes. They even added an option to crowdfund your divorce. In this way, their efforts essentially come full circle, from the beginning of a marriage to the end.
Should You Crowdfund Your Divorce?
In most cases, divorce is a trying, emotional time full of stress. Between appearances, meetings, forms, documents, and a million other things, you have a full plate. The time and energy spent to crowdfund your divorce may be too much. It can turn into a full-blown marketing campaign when perhaps your focus belongs elsewhere.
And as crowdsourcing so often ties in with social media, that can also have consequences. This is a legal proceeding after all, and publicizing the details may not go over well. It may lead to additional conflict with your spouse, or even leave a negative impression with a judge. In short, before you start down this road, you need to ask if trying to crowdfund your divorce is the best option.
Why Crowdfund Your Divorce?
Not every marriage ends in a bitter fight in front of the judge. But even in the best of circumstances, there are expenses and fees to account for. It adds up quickly, and when you crowdfund your divorce, that can help offset some of the costs you face in ending a marriage.
- Paperwork and Legal Fees: Even taking a do-it-yourself approach comes with costs. Filing the forms and serving your spouse come with costs. And the more complicated it gets, the more expensive it becomes. Filing and responding to motions, going to court, appearing at mediation, all of that costs.
- Attorney’s Fees: Divorce is often contentious and full of conflict, and as in most legal matters, having a lawyer serves your best interests. That peace of mind, however, comes at a price. At the very least, you have a consulting charge, and an hourly rate usually follows. If you hire an attorney, it’s important to know their billing process, as it can multiply fast.
- Child and Spousal Support: Child support provides for the continuing care of any minor children, including necessities like food, shelter, medical care, and education. The amount depends on the finances of both parents, need, parenting time, and more. Spousal support ensures your ex can cover financial needs after divorce. Health, the length of the marriage, job prospects, and other elements factor into the final amount. These payments may be short in duration or continue indefinitely, depending on the circumstances.
- Other Costs: You may also face other unexpected costs. For example, you may need to move into a new home. Buying a house is expensive, and with renting, you have to pay deposits, utilities, and other expenses. Even things like furnishing a new place and buying silverware add up. Tax situations change, and it may be as simple as covering all of the utilities from a single paycheck for the first time.
When it comes to whether or not to crowdfund your divorce, the aim is usually temporary. The goal tends to be to cover the cost of lawyers and paperwork, the one-time expenses. Though who knows, you could probably start a Patreon to help cover spousal support. Stranger things have happened.
Minimizing The Costs
Divorce isn’t cheap, but there are ways to help minimize the costs, whether you crowdfund your divorce or not. Educating yourself about the process ahead of time often makes it easier to work with judges, attorneys, and mediators. Handling some of the legwork yourself may lessen the number of things you have to pay lawyers or a third party to do. Organizing paperwork, records, and any important documents helps speed things up.
It’s also key to know what’s important to you and to pick your battles. Fighting about every last point takes time, which costs money. Couples often battle back and forth over items of relatively little consequence, which racks up hourly charges. Take the time to know what you truly want and need out of your divorce. Figure out where you’re willing to compromise or what you’re willing to concede. Put your effort into the things most important to you.
Though it may be an unusual approach, trying to crowdfund your divorce costs isn’t the most bizarre idea. If you genuinely need the help and have a compelling story to tell about why you need the help, it’s become a legitimate option. And if you didn’t think you can afford to end your marriage, this may be an avenue to explore.
If you have questions about divorce, contact Goldberg Jones at our Seattle office.